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What is whey concentrate?
Protein is, without a doubt, the leading element in the sports nutrition and supplementation sector. Thanks to its useful and varied properties, it has become the ideal ally for maintaining optimal muscle health and facilitating the achievement of one's physical goals. As a result, brands are continually looking for innovation in their protein products, with scientific research leading to the emergence of whey protein concentrate.
This is a type of supplement extracted from the same whey from which dairy products are made, through special processing that focuses on maintaining and enhancing the proteins contained in it. Its benefits have established it as one of the best-selling products, although it has a very close competitor: whey protein isolate.
Their names are very similar, and can lead to confusion, but the reality is that each of them has its own characteristics that make them more or less suitable depending on the goals you want to achieve. In the following lines we will try to answer one of the most common doubts in sports nutrition, so that you can choose wisely between whey isolate or whey concentrate.
Which is better: whey isolate or whey concentrate?
Whenever there is a comparison in which there is any hint of competition, whether between two people, two objects, two places, etc., the same question arises: which is better? And the truth is that, on many, if not all occasions, there is no valid answer. This is exactly the case here, because the differences between serum isolate and serum concentrate do not put either one above the other, but rather make each one ideal for a particular type of purpose.
To get right to the point, we think you need to know that whey isolate is derived from the same whey as the whey mentioned above. In other words, both products share the same origin. The difference lies in the processing method, which in one case (concentrate) is less thorough than in the other (isolate).
The result of this variation can be seen in the composition of the final substance. Whey concentrate achieves a protein content ranging from 30% to 89%, accompanied by carbohydrates and fats.
On the other hand, the proteins present in whey isolate amount to 90-95%, but have a very low level of fats and carbohydrates, as well as containing practically no lactose.
Having a clear understanding of the peculiarities of one and the other, a separation can be made according to the needs of each person. The first factor that comes into play is lactose intolerance, since anyone suffering from lactose intolerance will have to opt for whey isolate. Whey concentrate, on the other hand, will be the perfect alternative for those who want to supplement their physical activity without spending too much money. The difficulty of the extraction process of whey isolate makes it much more expensive.
In terms of purely sporting factors, the fact that the concentrate contains fats and carbohydrates makes it a great meal replacement. In addition, this extra nutrient supply can be key in volume diets, something that whey isolate cannot achieve due to its exclusive protein composition, which makes it more recommendable in definition stages.
When to take whey concentrate?
One of the most important characteristics that differentiates whey concentrate from whey isolate is the speed of absorption. Supplements based on whey concentrate take considerably longer to be fully assimilated by the body, so they are very useful at times when a prolonged protein intake is needed.
This serves to protect the muscles for a longer period of time from catabolism, an organic process that can deteriorate muscle fibres and which is the number one enemy of anyone who wants to gain volume. Thus, a whey concentrate shake before bed ensures that your muscles stay well nourished throughout the night.
The same is true if used in pre-workout, so that the benefits of protein, as well as the energy from carbohydrates, will be noticeable for longer than if you had taken whey isolate.
Finally, as mentioned above, the presence of fats and carbohydrates in whey concentrate make it a great meal replacement. So it can be a great help when you're feeling peckish and can't eat anything.
Is whey concentrate good?
Whey concentrate contains about five grams more fat and carbohydrates than whey isolate, and with these few extra grams come beneficial nutrients such as conjugated linoleic acids (CLA).
Does whey concentrate build muscle?
Some forms of protein, such as whey, are better than others. Whey protein contains an incredible array of essential amino acids, which are absorbed quickly. Numerous studies show that it can help increase strength, gain muscle and lose significant amounts of body fat.
How do you use whey concentrate?
Drinking a whey shake mixed with cold water or milk within 30 minutes of finishing your workout will start the recovery process by flooding your bloodstream with amino acids, which are quickly transferred to your muscle cells where they can establish themselves as new muscle tissue.